Thursday, February 5, 2009

Government Propagandists and Tax Cheats

I heard an interesting bit of propaganda the other day. According to CBS news, an IRS survey showed that ninety percent of Americans feel it´s wrong to cheat on their income taxes. Ninety percent! That´s a huge percentage. This got me to thinking, "Who are these people?" Certainly if ninety percent of the people believe this, I should know one of them. And yet nearly everyone I know cheats or has cheated on their taxes in some form or another. In fact, the laws regarding taxes are so onerous and so numerous one would think it would be impossible to not cheat on your taxes. People are probably cheating on their taxes and don´t even know it. I had to wonder how this question was phrased or what kind of survey taking trickery or chicanery was used to get such overwhelmingly pro tax numbers from a populace who is decidedly anti-tax.

So I ask again, who are these people? Who did the people taking this survey ask? Did they ask the waiters and waitresses, the bartenders, the hairstylists, the taxi drivers, the pizza delivery people of the world? I´m certain that those who mainly make a living off tips report each and every penny they earn in tips to the IRS. Did they ask the tradesmen, the carpenters, the roofers, the plumbers, the electricians? I´ll bet they´ve reported all the money they´ve received from every side job they´ve done for friends, family and acquaintances where they were paid in cash. Did they ask the small businessmen of the country? I doubt very much that any of these people would ever fudge a little on their office expenses. Someone like that would never claim a personal computer for their children or a new car for themselves as a business expense. Did they ask salespeople? I wouldn´t think any of those people would ever claim anything on their taxes that wasn´t an actual allowable deduction. After all, when it comes to taxes, isn´t everyone suddenly just the most honest person in the world? Ninety percent seem to think so.

More likely this poll was given only to those who work for the IRS. Or perhaps it was given only to those who benefit from taxes, those who receive more than they pay. Perhaps it was given only to the very old who were indoctrinated into believing that not reporting all wages earned and paying taxes on them was the same as stealing. I did hear on the same radio broadcast that an overwhelming number of people also believed that paying taxes is one´s civic duty. Now that´s indoctrination. A group of people calling themselves government has convinced all these people not only that it´s ok for government to extort their hard earned money from them, the money they´ve received by being a productive member of society, but they´ve also convinced them it´s their duty to do so! Amazing.

Perhaps I´m wrong. Perhaps ninety percent of the populace really does believe that it is wrong for people to cheat on their taxes. Or perhaps ninety percent believe that it´s wrong for other people to cheat on their taxes. Perhaps these people are simply trying to express their perception that only the very wealthy can cheat on their taxes, or that corporations seem to get more tax breaks and deductions than the average citizen. Perhaps a better question would have been, "Would you pay taxes if it was strictly voluntary and you didn´t have to worry about being punished or penalized for not paying?" Be honest now. Perhaps an honest poll question like this would show how people feel about the true worth of the services government provides. Perhaps a question like this, if answered by average, honest people in an honest manner, would show how Americans truly feel about exercising one´s "civic duty" in the form of paying taxes. If the IRS survey is accurate and the average American feels this way, they should have no problem making taxes voluntary.

There is one thing for certain, most people try to keep as much money as they can. Most people take whatever deductions they are entitled to take. And when the tax return adds up to more than they´ve actually paid into their withholding, as per the earned income credit, I doubt very much that anyone´s going to actually give the extra money back to the IRS. No one wants to pay taxes.

Historically, taxes have always been abhorrent to the American people. The Revolutionary War was fought in part because of taxes. Income taxes were particularly egregious and specifically prohibited by the constitution. Our founding fathers realized just how abusive such a tax could become and how much power it would give those who administered it. It took a constitutional amendment, the 16th amendment, passed under questionable circumstances, to allow the government to "legally" level such a tax against its citizenry. Doing so allowed for the establishment of a central bank (a privately owned, quasi-governmental organization) and the unchecked growth of centralized government. It basically made it legal for the government to do what would be illegal for any other organization to attempt. The tax cheats aren´t the individuals that should be scrutinized, but the system itself which is the real criminal enterprise.

Now the federal government wants to saddle the common folk of this country and their progeny with a huge debt. We are the ones who will end up paying for their ill considered bail outs and "stimulus" packages. Our children and grandchildren and beyond are the ones who will suffer as their wages are garnished by an ever growing, ever more entrenched, ever more tyrannical bureaucracy. If we are to release our progeny from this burden, then we need to relentlessly demand smaller government and more responsibilities for ourselves. We need to make the government listen to our grievances and answer them, something they have refused to do in the past.

Government agencies want you to believe that the people of this country are docile. They want you to believe that the people accept their fate and are willingly paying huge chunks of their paychecks for less than stellar government services. The more people that can see through this charade, the better. The more people that speak out against it, the louder the shouts on Capital Hill, the better off we´ll all be. When the politicians finally realize that we are serious about getting them out of our lives and living as free men, then perhaps they will abandon their quest for ultimate power over all our lives and let us go about our business utilizing the freedom and liberty the founders of this country meant for us to have. At that point we will be able to grow wealth for ourselves and stop giving away the wealth we´ve earned to an elitist political class.

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